tv [untitled] March 18, 2013 3:00am-3:30am PDT
commission has been taking more actions for some of these clubs but there are still examples as was just cited where that does not always happen. and i think that that was something that i had heard in recent months, there are still issues that are the case on broad way and in the non-hill area and polk street and in my district i don't know if that is the case in others but that is something that i continue to hear and i think that it just means that we have come a long way and a significant way to go. >> we agree on that president chiu. >> supervisor weiner? >> yes. >> i think that one other challenge that the commission has had that i think that we are fixing in the legislation that i have pending is that right now, there is the commission can impose a very short suspension on a venue that is violating and the next step beyond that is revocation
there is not a lot of in between and so the legislation that is pending will give the commission the authority to impose, or at least the director to impose a longer suspension and i think that the more flexibility that we give to the director and to the commission, to address some of the problem causing, the better that it is going to be because it is not flexible enough right now and so i think that that will be an improvement as well. >> okay. >> having to jump right to it, sort of a death penalty, it is not, if it can put the commission in an awkward position. >> great. >> i wanted to see if deputy chief if you wanted to add anything? >> again, thank you for being here. >> it is my pleasure. i would agree with a lot of the issues and a lot of the statements from the inspector van coal. specifically, the relationship with the entertainment commission. between the entertainment
commission and the san francisco police department right now. it is the best that i have ever seen it. this constant communication and constant give and take. we do have issues on occasion, as inspector van coal mentioned, in a real responsible to the public as is commission as is this body here. we get the noise complaints for the clubs and so, when the noise complaints come in, and you know, we have seen a lot of instances where the people are explaining about the noise of a particular club and you know we feel although they have come an awful long way and they have made vast improvements on what they have done in the past and you know, it is our opinion that they could do a little better and quite frankly the police department could do better and that is the nature of the beast. we are continuing to push forward, and we are continuing to address the commission and make our concerns heard.
and i think that it will continue to improve over time. one of the issues that supervisor weiner brought up with regard to folks on the street at night, how they could or how it could mostly, neighborhood better, you know, the police department was dedicated to the gregt and the vibrantcy of this city. and you know, sometimes that is true, but sometimes it is not. often times on the broad way corridor, like the incident that we had a couple of weeks ago we had a huge fight out there. you know, a lot of people on the street is not necessarily good late at night, especially a lot of folks that have not been drinking. i know from my days as a robbery inspector people on the street late at night, the robbery suspects will look upon them as victims. and so, you know, it, the... the permitting and policing and regulating entertainment clubs
is a very, challenging process. it is a challenging process for both the police department and obviously for the entertainment commission. we look at the middle of the road where we can act, you know, and keep the public safe and you know, keep the neighbors of these clubs at least allow them to get sleep at night and make sure that the regulations are being followed. >> thank you, chief. >> and i want to again, thank you and your staff, as well as the entertainment commission staff for the fact that the staff level that you are working you know, really well, i think that is very important. i have a question, you know, i think that it might be helpful since any time that you are talking about two agencies working with one another, it is not just the people who are at those agencies the staff but also the bodis that over see the agencies. has there ever been a meeting or a discussion that involves both the entertainment commission and the police commission? >> not lately.
no, i don't believe so, i don't believe so. we have had meetings, myself and the chief and josyln, and met two months ago, we do have continual contact, we do have, you know, as stated by both the inspector and josyln, we have a good working relationship. we are trying to make the city as safe as possible around entertainment venues, as and that is our common goal. they are in a little bit of a bind, they advocate for entertainment and regulate it's same time. our job is easier, we regulate and enforce law and regulate and so we don't have to necessarily, they have the advocacy program and part of the equation in that kind of makes their job even more difficult. >> i would suggest and i would appreciate your comments, and i would suggest that there be in
the near future a joint meeting of the police commission and the entertainment commission. i think that having that discussion and that level of discussion by the policy-making bodies of both entities is useful and helpful. i know as a police commissioner i found discussions at that level with agencies useful and i think that it is only something that can lead to a positive thing. and i would encourage and in fact, i will be asking those bodies to at least look into that, i think that discussion will be helpful. >> i think that it is a great idea and i think that it could happen. >> supervisor weiner? >> just to be clear, in my statement, having people in the street at night increases public safety, i was not suggesting that having thousands of people unload from
clubs down broad way all at the same time is always the best thing, i know that we in california, have unlike a lot of other areas in the world have this incredibly rigid system where everything has to close at two and everyone piles out on the street at the same time and sometimes chaos can ensue and so i know that senator leno, has attempted in the past to give more flexibility so that not everything has to close at the same time because the state law is restrictive right now and i think i hope that we can take a look at that and i think that it is one of the problems that everything empties out on the street at the same time. >> we agree to closing clubs at midnight to two clock. >> i think that i may have had something else in mind. >> i am glad that you raised the issue of the two a.m. situation. and i wanted to ask you, specifically about some of the neighborhoods in my district as
you know. broad way, polk street, and union square, get a bit intense acouple of weeks ago, colleagues, i don't know if you saw the you tube footage, but there was a maly that happened when the clubs closed. 100 folks got into a fight, it was a very intense situation and a number of folks got arrested there have been articles in the last couple of weeks around polk street and the fact that many believe that we have hit a saturation point. and while, we have not seen the same violence on polk street that we have seen on broad way, there are concerns that we are almost at that place. a lot of my constituents have been worried given the staffing levels at the police department with attention in some of the higher crime areas that involve non-entertainment violence. that that has meant that in those neighborhood that i just described, the attention of friday and saturday night by definition they have not seen
the same level of staffing that they want to see and i know that part of this is a function of budget and i am wondering if you could talk about specific things that you are doing along polk street or along broad way to make sure that we are tamping down the potential issues. >> sure. >> the police department is down about 300 officers right now staffing-wise. and currently, there is a directive that all of the district stations staff 25 percent of the patrol force on the midnight watch and that specifically to deal with the problems that occur, you know they come on at 9:00 and get off at 6:00 a.m. and so specifically that is to deal with these types of problems and problems that we are having in the night life and the clubs after. and having an adequate number of officers to police the rest of the districts. on the broad way corridor, you know, broad way has been a difficult place to police for the last for as long as i have been in there have been problems on broad way. so, what we do generally, is we
all of central station out there and we generally have a number of our violence reduction teams out there and this motorized units are out there. and it is friday and saturday nights. and doing traffic stops and a lot of times sobriety check points in the area. just to keep a lid on the potential problems. you know, broad way seems to attract a difficult group of regulars from around the bay area. like much like the crowd that was the other night we had some tough folks down there obviously, the fights brought out and then we had to call the police officers from around the city to come and deal with the issues. so, preventing a problem for the most part we are doing pretty good. are we at a saturation point for clubs?
you know, i don't know if we are there, or we are probably close because a lot of these areas, polk street and broad way we have residents theres too, we have people living above these areas, you know san francisco is a very densely populated city as you all know and there is a lot of folks who call san francisco home and they live in a lot of these areas or a lot of these clubs are appearing. and so, once again, we are back to the balance, you know? do we put more clubs in to increase the night life or do we need to try to quiet it down at least at 2:00 in the morning so people can get some rest at night. >> thank you. >> and i just want to mention for my colleagues right now on polk street there are about 60 liquor licenses within a 6-block area and 100 on polk street as well. and the neighborhood associations have asked me for a number of years to move forward legislation to deal with the situation. and that legislation is sitting in front of the planning commission.
i have proposed not that we cut back in those areas, but that we simply say at this point we feel that is an appropriate level and so we are trying to taylor the legislation to say that the current exuberance is right and we are concerned that a little bit more might create a tipping point that could be detrimental. >> i certainly appreciate that and i think that we want to be helpful to the extent that there are district specific things that need to happen. i also do want to be careful to make sure that we don't you know, shoot ourselves in the foot, the reality is that the night life and entertainment has been an important part of our history in san francisco in the culture and for many of us it is more than just entertainment. i think that for many of us in the lgbtcommunity for instance, the ability to go to these places was a provided a place
where we could be ourselves and so it has a special significance for some communities because of that. and so i think that it really is about striking a balance. and i think that we can do that. supervisor weiner? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to a point cha the chief made about the department being down 300 officers, sometimes we put obligations on the entertainment commission and then neglected to give them the resources to do their jobs, we have done the same thing with the police department, and fundamentally it is the responsibility of theed supervisor and mayor to provide with resources. we worked together two years ago to give it one academy class to the department where there have been years with no academy class and at trophy in the side of the department
making your job harder and now the mayor and the board work together and we have made a commitment to fund three academy classes every year and it is going to take time to rebuild the ranks of the department given how many people are available to retirement but we need to stay committed to the three academy classes per year. and i also you know, i represent the castro which is not, quite on the same level as broad way in terms of the sheer number of people but it is a pretty intensive night life situation in terms of clubs and bars, and we have although, there are certainly issues and challenges for sure, we have worked wither hard to have a collaborativive relationship between the bar and club owners on the one hand and the neighbors and it is actually been quite positive and we had our one particular establishment that was causing some problems, that establishment is no longer there, but a lot of other bars have been very helpful in working collaborativively to make sure that we address these
situation befores they get out of hand. and including crime and also drunken behavior. and so, you know, i think that there are ways that we can improve public safety while also having a great night life. >> president chiu? >> i just want to respond to something supervisor campos had said about the importance of night life in the lgbt community. i would broader that, i think that and agree with all of the colleagues that night life has a central place for all of us, any of us who moved here, i came here in my 20s and enjoyed going out to broad way and north beach almost every weekend during much of my 20s. the challenge that we have though, is when we don't have a safe night life, that actually deters the economic activity and creates challenges for our over all night life economy. and so my goal is to figure out how do we insure a healthy vibrant and safe night life that allows us economic and
social and community activity that is so critical to what we are as a city to continue well. i want to thank the members from cmadoctor, and the entertainment free who have worked closely with my office to think about a win/win situations where both the night life operators and law enforcement can work together on measures that will ensure that certain operators are being a bit more responsible because that creates an issue for everyone else and i think that is where i hope that we go. >> anything else? and by the way, i think who knew that three harvard law grads would be so interested in this issue. i think that is president chiu noted that. >> is there any, anything else that chief? >> no, i think that complete agreement here. we all want to see the city prosper, and the clubs do well, and do the safely and responsibly. >> i think that we are working towards that goal and working closely with the entertainment in doing it. >> why don't we open it up to
public comment. any member who would like to speak, please come forward. >> hello, i am stephanie grain berg and i am here representing the cpab as well as the neighbors which is a neighborhood association (inaudible) ininclusive of the troubled long troubled broad way corridor. first of all, thank you for having this hearing, i think that it is very, very important. i am here really to request or plead, if you will, for more collaboration on not life violence or corridor violence i am speaking of the broad way corridor. i have lived a block from broad way now, up above broad way for almost 20 years and i hear over and over again from the agencies to the officials to the police, it is just broad way and i can tell you that is
not the case. and after living there for 20 years i have seen the ups and downs, sure there has been good and bad times, right now, it is at its worst. and i guess we are just desperate to find a solution to that, i think that just listening here it has been frustrating because it is a lot of finger pointing, is the ec or the police or the city, but everyone forgets that people live here and people live in these zones and the broad way corridor is not a vacuum just two blocks of a good time of clubs and strip clubs and just entertainment. there is a whole residential community surrounding this corridor. years and years ago, most of us would go down to broad way and go to tamaso. and we would get a drink and get something to eat and now the locals never go down there it is no longer a neighborhood for the locals. >> and it needs to be addressed. i guess what i am hoping to see
here is to have more hearings to work for this and i think that it is beneficial to collaborate in this man and her also just the reporting we are not receiving statistics and we don't know what is going on, the problem is that there are fights and this violence happening. >> this shaping but we don't know exactly where it is coming from. >> so we need better statistics to know that. right now what we have are residents going out video taping, on their own which is unsafe, and they are getting so desperate they are sending things to the media they are pulling their own crime reports from wherever they can find them >> thank you. >> listening to police scanners. >> i have a lot more to say. >> thank you. >> you don't have time. >>; is that correct?. >> correct. >> we have to give everyone the same amount of time. >> thank you. >> supervisor and president chiu, pleasure to talk in front
of you as a citizen and one of the founding board members of cmac. excuse me dry mouth, it is a bad allergy day and i am over medicated i wanted to give a whole series of individual bullet points because clearly what has been said today, requires a lot of context. and there is no way that i could tell that story in three minutes. the reason why the entertainment commission was created is not known by anyone in this room to my knowledge because no one was there except for me. and one of the key reasons why that entertainment commission was created was because the industry required baby sitting, and it required enhanced education. and we knew that this process was going to take a long time. as it has taken. let's examine broad way. broad way is posed as a result of work between the police
department and the entertainment commission the responsible club owners and cmac, broad way is posed to have a revitalization of a rebirth and the reason that will happen is because the cbd will create an environment where the merchants and land owners can look towards what the correct balance of tenants should be. rather than who is the highest bidder. >> and as we talk about saturation, saturation of night clubs, i also think as someone who advocates for night clubs, maybe we should look at saturation of residents because i think in places like south of market that would be the better way to look at the history. and my final thing in my long list of unsaid thing will be that the entertainment liaison and the police department... >> if you could wrap up. >> the entertainment liaison at
the police department was created seven years after the entertainment commission was created. and so it is just been a recent phenomena. >> thank you. >> we are happy that it is working. >> thank you. >> next speaker? >> is there any other member of the public who would like to speak. >> seeing none, public comment is closed. >> president chiu? >> i want to thank you for your involvement in this hearing and i want to just make a couple of points, first of all i want to thank my con stit ent who came from the southern part of telegraph hill, she well encapsule lated the situation in broad way and i have a feeling that is different from what is going on in district districts. but we are working together as allen put out, i do want to thank the neighborhood associations, and the responsible club owners, cmac. s police department and because we have been coming together over the last six months to think about new strategy and it is very likely in the next couple of months that i will be
introducing legislation to create the district so that we can really continue to focus on what has been an issue. i also want to continue to ask the entertainment commission and the san francisco police department to work together to give us as robust set of reporting data as you can. i know that we had a requirement of quarterly reports and we have not had reports to this, but i would like to ask, you know and consider this the report for the first quarter of this year, that soon after the end of the first half of this year, i would like to get a communication from your respective departments on how they work and depending on what we see at that time, ask for another hearing to continue to monitor the process, i want to thank supervisor weiner for the work that he is doing and look forward to looking at this legislation and hopefully continuing to give the entertainment commission the tools that they need to address this. and i do want to take a moment
and address the issue of saturation of sort of residents verses night clubs and i could imagine and i want to make sure that mr. allen's comments were taken out of context. you are referring to that in the soma area that there be balance between residents and entertainment corridor and i assume that the comment was not directed to broad way or polk street. good, i want to state on the record that he is agreeing with that in those neighborhoods my district includes the densist neighborhoods in the city and we have literally thousands of residents thatvy heard from who appreciate good, healthy safe night life but have res issues of what we have had in years and need to think about on those particular corridors how we have a peaceful co-existence and the point of my constituents i think that many would love to go back to and be patron and customers of the
clubs and bars and the restaurant but unfortunately don't feel comfortable doing that. that is the long term goal and if we do that, we can get to continuing the wonderful social, come munal and economic activity that we want to see and strive for, thank you to everyone who has participated in this. and the conversation will continue. >> thank you, supervisor weiner. >> thank you and, you know it is interesting despite the spirited three way discussion that we have been having today, i think that there is quite a bit of common ground. and i know that even though i have been a very fierce advocate for the night life, i also have been a fierce advocate for increasing the enforcement powers of the entertainment commission to be able to come down hard to bad actors. i know that supervisor campos and i work on a lot of issues in the mission and so, you know i think that the key here is i
understand that broad way, in particular, has a lot of challenges for the neighborhood, and we absolutely need to and it needs to be addressed and i am very happy that the cbd is moving for ward. and i think that there are proactive ways to try to address what is happening on broad way and improve the situation for the neighborhood. i just want to make sure that we don't allow one really problematic situation or there are a few. to drive entertainment policy for the whole city, we need to be very specific in saying that there are special core doors that need to be addressed that does not mean that every corridor is like that. and they are all actually fairly unique. so thank you. >> thank you, and i do want to say that we will make sure that we continue this discussion and i think that the more information that we have the better and i especially want to thank the residents who have
come out to share their concerns and their thoughts. my hope is that we can get more of that input and more feedback as this moves forward. and into the police department, and the entertainment commission, i would say that and putting together information i think that it is important to provide some context as well. and that we are very clear about how we define the different data points that we are talking about whether it is incidents, with violence or without violence or whatever that is. and also to provide some context because i think that to the extent that we are focusing on this industry, on the entertainment industry, we also need to know what is happening also city-wide. because that can also provide a context for general trends. you know, one of the things that we know for instance, is the fact that we have as a city a number of incidents involving smart phones and cell phones, and so, i would imagine that some of those issues will be reflected in some of the data that you have, and i think that it is important to have that and i want to agree with what
supervisor weiner said. i think that it is really important to make sure that we address this specific needs of each district. and we want to be very supportive of the efforts of the district supervisor whether it is 3, 6, to make sure that the concerns and needs of their constituents are addressed and also to make sure that we don't have a one size fits all approach because the reality is what works in one district may not work with another district. and i know that we can get to a point that we can have the right approach district by district and still have a good balance city wide policy. >> so, with that, if it is okay, would i ask that we continue this item to the call of the chair so that we can bring this back and in the near future. >> so the motioned by supervisor mar. if we could get that take that without objection? >> thank you, everyone. and mr. clerk, do we have any other business before the committee f